Sunday September 2
I started out with a quick Java and Muffin at Mo' Joe Coffee House in downtown Indianapolis. It was one of the very few coffee houses actually open downtown on a Sunday Morning, oddly enough there was a city cop sitting down and enjoying his cup of joe too. And here I'm thinking they only go to donut shops.
I made the quick hour and 45 minute trip to Louisville and met with Mayor Al
at Boot Leg Bar B-Q
just around noon time. This ol' shack cooks up some pretty tasty "Q". I had the Mutton Plate, a side of burgoo, beans n potato salad and Al and I shared a rack of ribs. Mutton packs a little more "oomph" than pork or beef. You can add your "standard" bbq sauce, however I prefer mine with the "owensboro black dip" A worcestershire sauce based concoction. The Burgoo is a hearty stew reminscent of Brunswick stew and generously loaded with chunks of mutton, the ribs were good too and the opaque red bbq sauce went well with ribs. Al and I chatted for about an hour or so and then I headed off to check into the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville
After checking into my hotel, I checked out the relatively new path and river walk which goes along the Ohio River. It was a hot n dry day probably at or close to 90 degrees , the weather couldn't have been better. Before heading off to the game, I walked over to Cunninghams
in Downtown Louisville for dinner. Apparently they have a Sunday Buffet, but I wasn't interested, I was looking forward to trying their Hot Brown. The waiter brought over the menu and the choices seemed limited, I asked the waiter why the Hot Brown wasn't on the menu, he told me "that is their Sunday Menu" now I'm thinking, "oh they have a different menu for every day of the week??" I told the waiter I came almost 1000 miles to have a hot brown, he checked with the Kitchen, came back and told me one was on the way. The meal arrived, the portions were huge, but I was somewhat dissatisfied with the cheese sauce, not that it wasn't bad, it was just very different from the cheese sauce I experienced at Kunz's 7 years earlier which had a sauce that tasted more like a "Mornay" also just one strip of bacon? Kunz's hot brown had several strips if I recall. Overall a very average experience.
After the meal I headed back to the hotel to drop off my digital camera and then walked over to the Ballpark. The exterior of Louisville Slugger Field reminds me a little of Churchill Downs, it too is a relatively brand new ballpark and apparently captures a decent following, in fact this is the only ballpark where I decided to purchase my ticket a week or two in advance. I was surprised to see that the ballpark was only maybe a little more than half full. Either way, Louisville beat the Indianapolis Indians. (Remember the Indians hosted Louisville the night before)
After the game I went back to my hotel to sleep, I had to wake up early the next day.
Monday September 3
I woke up at around 5:30 pm. I had a 6 1/2 hour drive to to Erie PA and wanted to catch the 1pm game on time. I first drove to Cincinnati and decided to stop at Brewed Awakenings, a local chain of Coffee Houses in the Hyde Park Neighborhood for a quick coffee and bite to eat- I called them the day before to see if they would be open on Labor Day and they assured me the would- and they were!
I arrived in Erie at around 12:45pm and parked my car on the Street about 2 blocks from Jerry Uht Park. I was surprised there would be free parking so close by. I got to the ballpark and the game was sold out! What??? The Seawolves NEVER
sell out!!! Standing room only tickets were being sold for $3. I bought mine. After roaming around the park, I realized that Yuengling was going for a buck a cup-cool! After the first inning I realized that the ballpark was maybe 3/4 full at best I sat down relatively close to the field between 3rd and home, not bad for a sold out game. Erie was hosting the Altoona Curve, it was supposed to be a double header 7 inning game, as it turns out, Erie won the first game and was headed to the double A division championships so they never had the 2nd game. Good, I wasn't staying anyway, I was hungry.
I walked over to the lake and headed over to Smugglers Wharf
located right on the harbor, downtown. I ordered the Lake Perch. This Hunk of fish was truly a monster. It was good, however when it comes to Perch, I'm used to breaded vs beer batter and thinner filets. The fries were ordinary and I ordered a local brew on tap (I don't remember the name of it).
Here are some views of the Harbor
After walking around Downtown Harbor area, I drove to my hotel, the Quality Inn and Suites located about 5 miles South East of Downtown Erie. Later that evening I called the Fiddle Inn previously recommdended on the forum to see if they were open...hmmmm...no answer, I then tried Eli's Tavern, a place also recommended by a local Erie Website and hmmm, no answer there too. I then tried choice number 3, The Avonia Tavern
located in nearby Fairview- DING DING DING! we have a winner. I got to the Avonia Tavern and noticed their wide variety of wings- I ordered the "Buffalo Style" plain and simple. It arrived on a plate of aluminum foil- with a side of Ranch Dressing- What???!! No blue cheese? Nope! and Where's the celery- that costs extra- ok I begrudgingly paid for it. The wings were big and meaty but I thought the sauce lacked the zest I previously experienced at Duffs and The Anchor Bar in Buffalo. Another Mediocre experience.
I found vindication when I headed back towards my car and noticed this across the street!
I can never turn down a frozen custard stand when I'm in the Eastern Great Lakes, they seem to flourish there. Vanilla and Chocolate are standard at Castle Custard
and they had two daily specials. I got a double scoop of vanilla and "thin mint" in a waffle cone The vanilla was good and the thin mint was WOW! had chunks of cookie in it too! After my custard vindication I drove back to my hotel for the evening
Tuesday September 4
After checking out a local coffee house "the brickhouse" I started to head back to Pittsburgh. For lunch I stopped at Buffetbuster's recently reviewed Pierogies Plus
in McKeesrocks. Located in a converted gas station, it houses little polish Ladies that make homemade pierogies and other Eastern European Fare. I ordered one of the Sample Platters. It comes with One Stuffed Cabbage, 3 Potato and Cheese Pierogies with butter and onion sauce and a big helping of Halushki. Everyhing was absolutely delicious, the only difference that I noticed was that the Halushki seemed to have more pepper and less butter than I remember but it was still very good
After lunch I met up with my friend Lisa, some of you may recall I attended her wedding last October in Punxsutawney. She was now pregnant (and only put on just over 20 lbs) good for her. She just called me a couple of days ago to announce that she gave birth to a baby girl on September 9. I definetely need to call and congratulate her
After meeting up with Lisa, I headed to my final destination. The Moon Township Outlet of Primanti's
near the Airport. I met up with Buffet Buster
This is actually the second time we met. I took Buffet Buster to the Modern Diner in Pawtucket when he was visiting Rhode Island this past July. I ordered my favorite- The Kolbassi and Cheese (when in Pittsburgh!) and a Yuengling. Fries and Coleslaw on the Sandwich, I know some may think it's overrated, I think it tastes fantastic....A delicious end to a great extended weekend of food, baseball, walking and driving (I think that's all I did!)